ONE MINUTE by Somin Ahn


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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A sliver of time seems finite and yet, when explored in depth, is filled with possibilities both good and bad.

“One minute is sixty seconds.” So begins this speculative exploration of the concept of time. A little girl with tight black pigtails thoughtfully acts out each example. Her lime-yellow face glows with happiness as she squeezes her Chihuahua. “In one minute, you can hug your dog….” Simple enough. Yet from the start, this book takes a decidedly different approach to conceptual time than one that teaches readers about “before, during, and after.” When gleefully riding a carousel, for instance, one minute is short. When at the dentist, one minute is long. Author/illustrator Ahn pushes the concept further by showing life’s highs and lows, including examples adult readers are likely to interpret as death and new life. Thankfully, the sweet puppy is found on many pages. With simple illustrations and expansive white space, there is room for questions and discussion—but possibly too much room. The progression from blinking 20 times in one minute to watching the dog nearly being hit by a car makes this concept book a bit confusing. This could possibly be considered an effort to expand temporal perspective in much the same way that Istvan Banyai’s Zoom (1995) does for visuals. It is thought-provoking enough for middle graders, but the format seems to aim it at the very young.

For very bright and thoughtful preschoolers with patient adult readers. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4521-5564-7
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: Chronicle
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2016


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